Shirley Temple starred in reliably formulaic movies — a little girl loses a parent, but unlocks the iron hearts of those around her with smiles and song. NPR's Scott Simon says her films still have the power to cheer us.
Popular shows like Modern Family, Parenthood, and Grey's Anatomy all routinely feature interracial and multiethnic families. It's quite a switch from the 1950s, when Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz broke barriers.
For 50 years, Ebony magazine toured traveling fashion shows around the country. The models knew how to captivate from the catwalk and helped fashion the dreams and aspirations of the black women who flocked to their shows.
Countless books and films have been made about Abraham Lincoln, but not many have been told in his voice. Jerome Charyn's latest novel, a sort of fictional autobiography, does just that. Charyn spoke with NPR's Scott Simon about Lincoln's poetry, depression, and fictionalizing a life.
Author Douglas Perry's new book, Eliot Ness: The Rise and Fall of an American Hero, paints a portrait of the legendary lawman as a flawed but genuinely good guy who floundered when away from the excitement of police work. Ness "helped invent the modern police force," Perry says, but couldn't stop drinking and cheating on his wives.
Zakuski are like Russian tapas. More than a delicious snack, these dishes also tell the story of Russia. From "Herring Under a Fur Coat" to pickled everything, zakuski teach us about harsh winters and state-sponsored products in the Soviet era.
Scientists have made some attempts to link mollusks to increased libido. There's even evidence that consuming heavy doses of an amino acid found in oysters can increase sperm count – in rabbits. But do any of these findings actually prove that oysters can — ahem — amp up arousal? Not so much.
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